Monday, April 26, 2010

Green Meadow Soup

This soup has become a rite of spring.  It's one that I've shared before.  Here it is again for those who might have missed it the first go around.

I have a passion for cookbooks! Sometimes I select one and cook from it for a week. Sometimes I just browse through and make up menus weeks in advance. Some I have never made a recipe from but can't let them go. A favorite blog of mine has recently posted some wonderful recipes from stained and tattered recipe cards. Recipes from family and friends--reminders of meals with them. Those postings reminded me of my most often visited source for menu planning, party planning and memory invoking recipes--my food file.

This recipe came from our very first gourmet group dinner when we lived in Lubbock, TX. Lubbock, on the high plaines in the panhandle of Texas was populated with wonderful people but not fine dining--except, of course, for barbecue. This was many years ago and I'm sure that has changed. At that time and in that place, we were one of four couples who enjoyed food and were determined to have it. Andrew and I were in charge of the appetizer and the soup. You can see that the soup recipe has been in the kitchen many times. I can't remember which magazine it came from. It's either Gourmet, Bon Apetit or Food and Wine (Maybe Sunset). If anyone recognizes the format, please let me know.

The many shades of green show off in the soup as they do in nature in springtime.

And it provides the perfect lunch after cleaning up winter's detritus from the garden.

Potage Vert Pre

6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup minced green onions with tops
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups fresh or frozen peas
1 head Boston lettuce, shredded
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whipping cream (I've used half and half)
3 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 cup cooked fresh or frozen peas

1. Saute onions in butter in large pot until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add 3 cups peas, the lettuce, spinach, sugar and salt. Stir in 6 cups stock. Heat to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer covered 45 minutes. Cool slightly. Puree vegetable mixture 2 cups at a time in blender or food processor until smooth.*

2. Beat cream, egg yolks and pepper in small bowl until smooth. Combine with pureed mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until soup is hot. Do not boil. Stir in 1 cup of peas.

NOTE: Soup may be prepared in advance up to this point*. Refrigerate. Heat to simmering before completing recipe.